Graphite Pendulum-Pendant

image for Graphite Pendulum-Pendant
Exhibition Label
Parcher's neckpiece invites us to reconsider the relationship between jewelry and the body we often take for granted. The minimalist pendant features a single piece of lathe-turned graphite, rather than precious stones. Its understated elegance masks the artist's subversive intent. When worn, the wearer's movements cause the graphite to swing gently, leaving its mark.
Connections: Contemporary Craft at the Renwick Gallery, 2019
Luce Center Label
In Graphite Pendulum-Pendant, Joan Parcher reminds the viewer that one person’s trash is another’s treasure. Instead of traditional gemstones or precious metals, the artist uses materials gathered from a dump. Her works challenge the notion of preciousness and the tradition of jewelry as ornament. The pendant sways on the wearer’s body, smearing a dark stain across the chest and making the wearer a part of the artwork. The piece continually disintegrates as the material scrapes the surface of the clothing, shattering our idea of jewelry as a precious heirloom.
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Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
Renwick Gallery
On View
Renwick Gallery, 2nd Floor, Room 207
Renwick Gallery, 2nd Floor
Object number
Credit Line
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase through the Renwick Acquisitions Fund
Joan Parcher, born Pittsburgh, PA 1956
graphite, sterling silver, and stainless steel
13 1/2 x 8 1/2 x 1 1/2 in. (34.3 x 21.6 x 3.8 cm.)
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Decorative Arts-Jewelry